Neo-mainstream fans and radio station KXRK - also known as X-96 - adamantly and forcefully put the word "alternative" to rest once and for all Tuesday. The evening's wake served as the platform for the scathing techno-metal of KMFDM and the industrial punk of Dink.
Yes, "alternative music" is dead. But the spirit of revolutionary tunes lives on. These two bands proved that theory.At 7:30 p.m., the Ohio-based, five-man band Dink hit the stage with a fury and belted out a set of tunes from its self-titled debut album.
The band jammed around the funky single "Green Mind," with its hard-lined bass, and built its momentum on "Get On It." Lead singer/guitarist Sean Carlin, guitarist Rob Lightbody and bassist Jeff Finn jumped around to the bottom thud of drummer Jan Eddy Van der Kuil's steady, rhythms.
One small disappointment about Dink's set - the lighting. The band had to start the show on time, which meant the sun was still up. That's too bad, because the light bleached out moving effects projected on a screen behind the band. All the audience saw were squiggly shadows rolling to the sounds.
Still, each Dink song featured the band's staple power-guitars and frantic vocals combined in a nice tight mix. The standing-room-only, mixed crowd of about 2,000 modestly moshed to the beats. Apparently they were waiting for the techno-assault of KMFDM to begin the slam-fest.
And the moment KMFDM, short for Kein Mitleid Fur Die Mehrheit (or in English - no pity for the majority), stepped on stage, the rolling bodies began to bounce.
Vocal/percussionist Sascha Konietzko and guitarist/per-cus-sionist and vocalist En Esch led the entourage of bassist Raymond Watts, and guitarist Mark Dur-na-tula and Gunter Schulz in a swirling array of technical whirlwinds and biting guitars.
"Ultra," the first cut on the band's recent album "Nihil," started the rhythmic moshing, which didn't let up until after the two finales.
By using a bullhorn, distorted microphone effects and the driving, computer enhanced special effects, KMFDM created a dark scene condemning the social injustice and disenfranchisement young people face every day.
The battered refrain of "Flesh" and the fury of "Beast" allowed the audience to release its tension as the band highlighted itself with red, orange and yellow automatic spotlights. When the mood grew dreary and mysterious during "Terror," strobing blue spotlights scanned the stage and flashed into the audience.
Other selections KMFDM performed included "Disobedience," "Secret Skin" and the non-album track "Kraut." It also allowed itself to enlighten the crowd with the soul-searching hit "Juke Joint Jezebel."
After a wake like this, the word "alternative" is nothing but dust.